* U.S. crude up more than 2 pct
* Symantec up after stock upgrade
* Futures up: Dow 138 pts, S&P 17.75 pts, Nasdaq 45.75 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
March 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open higher on Friday as oil held on to gains, a day after the European Central Bank unveiled a widely expected stimulus package to spark growth in the region.
Markets initially gave a rousing reception to the ECB’s program, which included expanding its asset-buying plan to 80 billion euros a month, but the mood turned sour after President Mario Draghi said further cut rates were unlikely.
Wall Street swung between gains and losses on Thursday and closed little changed as investors digested the mixed message.
“It looks like we’re going to close the week on a high note as people are rethinking Draghi’s powerful stimulus program,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.
U.S. crude rose more than 2 percent, after the International Energy Agency said oil prices might have bottomed as output in the United States and other non-OPEC countries was beginning to fall quickly.
At 8:23 a.m. ET (1323 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 138 points, or 0.81 percent, with 17,858 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis were up 17.75 points, or 0.89 percent, with 198,167 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 45.75 points, or 1.07 percent, on 19,752 contracts.
The S&P 500 is down 2.7 percent for the year, recovering from a steep selloff at the start of the year that was sparked by a rout in oil.
Investors’ attention now turns to the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is set to meet on March 15-16 to decide on monetary policy.
The Fed has said it is on track to raise rates gradually this year, but its decision will hinge on the health of the economy.
Recent data has shown the U.S. labor market remains strong, but wage growth remains a concern.
Shares of Symantec were up 2.3 percent at $17.70 premarket after RBC raised its rating on the stock to “outperform.”
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals was up 2.4 percent at $59.46 after JPMorgan upgraded the stock to overweight. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)